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Big Guy Wheelset Options(11 posts)

Big Guy Wheelset OptionsFred2000
Nov 8, 2002 11:06 AM
Alright, I have read many of the wheelset discussions below and I have a question. I am a larger rider (6'7" and ~275#) and I was wondering what people would suggest for a higher end wheelset.

I know the off the shelf sets most likely won't match my rider profile. I currently ride CXP-33 (both 32 and 36 hole) with Ultegra Hubs with pretty good results.

So the question is what would people recommend for a step up in the wheels department - hopefully something that spins up well and is aero.

I know in the weight department I have more work to do on myself then the bike but I was wondering what people would suggest.

Thanks, Jon

I was thinking maybe matching Zipp rims (32 hole) with a Hugi, Am Classic or Chris King hubset, but I really don't know.

How much are Zipp rims anyway?
re: Big Guy Wheelset OptionsMike Prince
Nov 8, 2002 11:33 AM
I'd personally stick with the 36-hole CXP-33's as they are fairy aero and will build up into a quite strong wheel. Nothing low-end about them. The hubs you mention are definetely higher-end, but I doubt you would be able to tell a huge difference (except for the noise of the Kings). But if you want to save weight on the wheels, I'd look at hub oprions before lighter (and potentially more fragile) rims. Sounds like you're already on the right track with your current wheels.

There's been other threads on here about problems with Zipp rims, but it was on their pre-built wheels. Had to do with the carbon bit separating from the aluminum rim sections. Not sure if the issue is the same for just the rims.

I wouldn't change much. A well-built 32 or 36 hole CXP-33 wheel should last a long time, and I'd be leery of the risks of superlight race-specific components down there.
re: Big Guy Wheelset Optionspat1
Nov 8, 2002 12:10 PM
I'm in that range at 260 and 6' tall. Last year, I had Excel build a set of 32-hold Cxp33's laced to Chris King hubs with 14g Dt's in a 3x pattern. Over 2000 hard training miles with no problems. I have not had to touch the spokes at all. I was very happy with Excel's build quality. With black rims, silver spokes and black hubs, they look great too. Some complain about the CK hubs being noisy, but I have no problems and they are very light/strong.
32 spokes are iffy for meSilverback
Nov 8, 2002 12:47 PM
I weigh about 225 now, but I've been in the 270 range, and I had trouble with 32 spoke wheels. They were professionally built, too, not OEM. Most of the time the alloy nipples (which I'd asked him not to use, but he promised they'd be OK) broke. As my weight came down, even though my miles went way up, I quit having problems. Don't know if it was the weight, or if the wheels weren't right at first and got better as he fooled with them, but he's an experienced builder and I trust him...except for that alloy nipple thing.
re: Big Guy Wheelset OptionsJofa
Nov 8, 2002 3:07 PM
Ask yourself what you intend to achieve. The idea of saving weight from your bike, or reducing its wind resistance, sounds appealing, but make sure you know what kind of quantities you are dealing with.

Lets say your bike currently weighs 20lbs. You weigh 275, which makes a total of 295lbs. Your current wheels probably constitute about 4 lbs of that. An extremely light, and highly expensive, wheelset might shave 1lb of that 4. Which brings you to a grand total of 294 lbs, which is a weight saving of 0.3 per cent.

If you ride with a standard 500 ml waterbottle, your bike's weight varies by over 1 lb as it is (as you drink - and subsequently sweat - the water). Your body weight varies by a much larger amount, as you drink, eat and sweat.

Clearly that 0.3 % saving from your rolling weight by buying new wheels is going to have precisely zero detectable effect on your overall efficiency. Much the same goes for wheel aerodynamics, though the figures are harder to work out. However, it is easy to see that the most aerodynamically efficient wheels are flat disks: and it has been shown that the aerodynamic advantage they confer to a professional racer is in the order of 1 or 2 percent. Anything else is much less. Remember, these are people who have already brought their bodies to the highest level of cardiovascular efficiency, and moreover must win races to secure their livelihood: you and I enjoy the luxury of cycling for pleasure.

All of which adds up to my contention that you have been sold a ringer: the idea that your bicycle, by its mass and resistance to air, presents a large obstacle to your progress. It doesn't. You (or I, or a cyclist half your weight) do. Accept that and enjoy your cycling.

If you want new wheels, I recommend ones with strong, box section, eyeleted rims, built properly with 36 spokes each.

re: Big Guy Wheelset OptionsFred2000
Nov 8, 2002 5:03 PM
I hope I made clear in my posting that I understood that weight is really not the issue as I could for sure stand to lose the weight of the entire bike from my body at a cost far less then a water bottle.

My question was more about where could a larger rider go if he wanted a higher end wheelset.

A lot of people talk about how a wheelset feels or spins up, I wanted to ask the question that is this a smaller rider only discussion or is there space for me.

Additionally, I think a new wheel set would be more of want then need, it would be great to have a cool strong-as-hell wheelset and the question then is does it exsist and what is it.
More or less any, thenJofa
Nov 9, 2002 5:51 AM
You did clearly imply that you don't see overall weight loss as a major concern: however it is lightness above all else (apart, obviously, from that enigmatic quality "cool") that characterise 'high end' wheels. Perfectly ordinary wheels are as strong as you need, so if you discount weight and aerodynamics, there isn't much else to look for. All wheels 'ride' the same, in that they are all practically rigid structures which don't deform vertically.

Excepting this persistent myth of 'acceleration', which I think you are referring to when you refer to 'spinning up'. It's very popular in bicycling circles to talk earnestly about the acceleration of wheels. It is however even less significant a factor in your riding than your bike's weight or aerodynamics. If you don't believe me, you can prove it to yourself:

Off your bike, but with the speedometer switched on, lift the front end from the ground with one hand, by the stem. With your other hand, spin the front wheel until the speedo reads 30 mph.

There. You accelerated your (heavy old) wheel up to high speed in a matter of seconds, far faster than a professional sprinter does when riding. It wasn't so hard, and you did it with one hand. It obviously isn't going to present an obstacle to your two legs, which in any case will be preoccuppied with accelerating your body up to speed, and pushing it through the air. This is effectively no less marginal for a tiny ridy half your weight.

So weight is unimportant; acceleration is unimportant; aerodynamics are unimportant. Reliability is, but that doesn't narrow it down much. Go for the ones which look coolest to you... which I think you are planning on doing anyway. Your choice is barely smaller than anybody else's. But, for my money, the best looking wheels are simple ones with forged silver hubs, SS spokes, and box-section non anodized rims.

re: Big Guy Wheelset Optionsseyboro
Nov 8, 2002 4:20 PM
I'm 6'4", 235 lbs. My wheelsets:
Record hubs 32/32 with cxp 30 rims (always true)
King hubs 36/32 with Ambrosio focus rims (shweeet)
Both setups have worked great for me and are pretty aero, plus the CKs/focus have a high zoot-factor. I'm with the other guys on this: Stay away from the extra light factory-built stuff, go custom!!
Another wayKerry
Nov 9, 2002 7:40 AM
At 6'7", you're never going to be a lightweight, so stay focused on strength and reliability. There's nothing wrong with the stuff you're considering, but you're paying a lot and not getting much. If you add things up, you may find that a Velocity Deep V with Record or DA hubs will get you to the same place for a lot less $$. As an example, while the advertised weight of the CK hubs is 130 gm less than Record, that is without skewers while Record weight is with skewers. In fact CK hubs are 10-20 gm lighter than Record and a lot more $$. Consider a 32/36 Record, Velocity Deep V, 14/15 spokes. A couple 100 grams heavier than the light stuff, but a very solid and cost effective build.
re: Big Guy Wheelset Optionsheldveld
Nov 10, 2002 8:01 PM
Hey, what kind of frame and size are you riding? I'm 6'6" and looking for somthing new. Always interested to find out what options are out there.
Strong CustomFred2000
Nov 10, 2002 9:00 PM
I am on a Strong Frame Columbus Foco frame.

Call Carl ( and talk to him if you are interested. He is a great guy to work with. They do a very nice frames (pretty welds) and the price is very reasonable.

I got measured up locally and sent my measurments to him. The resulting bike has been excellent.

FYI it is 65" TT and 65" ST with mega tubes for the TT and DT.